New Deputy Fire Chief Named

Jeff Davis

TOPEKA, Kan. - Topeka Fire Chief Howard Giles has named Jeff Davis, Fort Scott, as the new Deputy Chief of Operations.

Davis will replace Rick Pardee, a 34-year veteran of the force and the Chief of Operations since September 2007, who will retire at the end of this year. Davis will report for duty October 6 at the Topeka Fire Department.

Davis is currently Fort Scott’s Public Safety Director with command over both the Fort Scott Police and Fire departments. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Management from National College (now called National American University), Rapid City S.D.; two associate degrees, one Associate Degree in General Studies and one Associate Degree in Applied Science (fire science technology program), from Barton County Community College; graduated first out of 58 Law Enforcement Officer candidates from the Kansas Law Enforcement Center, Hutchinson; and graduated from the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy in Maryland.

Davis started his career in 1978 in Great Bend as a firefighter/EMT where he rose to the rank of Assistant Chief (shift commander). He left that position to become Fire Chief in Fort Scott in 1996 and has been the Public Safety Director since 2005.

“We are very pleased to have someone of Davis’ caliber join us here at the Topeka Fire Department,” Giles said. “His wide breadth of experience and knowledge will serve us well.”

The Deputy Chief of Operation’s position is currently responsible for the command of the Operations Division, which encompasses all fire and emergency and non-emergency responses from the 12 City fire stations. There are 225 people are assigned to the division.

Davis was chosen from six final candidates, two internal and four external.

Each candidate went through a rigorous five-component selection process that included two interviews, one with a panel of five fire professionals and one with a panel of five consisting of department directors and a community member; a video-based assessment where each candidate was given scenarios to respond to; an administration exercise which simulated prioritizing and disposition of tasks pertinent to the deputy chief rank; and a general written exercise.